Writing and Submitting Letters of Recommendation
Most study abroad programs require one or two academic letters of reference. Quite often these must be from a member of the faculty who has taught the student. Some programs may also require a letter from someone who has worked closely with the student and can write a character reference. Host universities and other study abroad programs want to know how long and in what capacity the recommender knows the student; details of the student’s academic performance; and personal strengths and/or weaknesses that affect the student’s academic performance.
Guidelines for Writing a Recommendation for Study Abroad
- How the student’s proposed study abroad program align with the student’s major or minor
- Comment on student’s qualities:
• approach to academic work
• intellectual curiosity
• time management skills
• any other helpful information
References for Other Study Abroad Programs/Institutional Approval Forms
Some study abroad programs may have their own system for electronic requests for letters of reference. Others may have separate paper forms that must be completed by the recommender. In all cases it is the responsibility of the student to contact the recommender to request the reference and to provide the electronic link or the paper reference form with instructions on where to submit the reference. Students are advised that they should inquire at least three to four weeks in advance about a recommender’s willingness to offer an evaluation/letter of support.